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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Oct 4, 2011 1:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 40 years strong

Purveyors of a Genre and a Way of Life, Max Creek Celebrates Their Fortieth They Made It Through the Seventies, and They're Still Going. Max Creek is a living, breathing historical study in a hugely significant yet too-oft overlooked American subculture: the jam band. Later this month, Max Creek celebrates their fortieth anniversary with a smal East Coast tour, hitting intimate venues in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York City. Creek guesses they've performed nearly 3,000 times over their forty years together. They have set lists for 1,851 shows covering the 80s and 90s but there are more shows, both known and unknown, than set lists still exist for. As with most jam bands and their fans, the majority of the 70s are gone. (What does this mean?) Their first concert as a band was in May 1971 at the Maple View Ballroom (later Woody's) in Washington, MA, a venue at that time owned by Arlo Guthrie. The next three decades were characterized by endless bouts of touring, especially the late 70s and 80s. At their peak in 1982, Creek played 241 live shows. A true jam band, Max Creek and its fans know that the truest experience is the live show. During their long history, they've played some out of this world shows in some out of this world venues, including the Elmcrest Psychiatric Institute in Portland, CT in 1978. In the early years, Creek toured almost exclusively in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. Their first ventures into northern New England (New Hampshire and Maine) took place in 1981, and in 1983 they hit the road and took to Philadelphia then back up north to Vermont. Throughout the 80s, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine became regular tour stops along with the old mid-Atlantic standbys. In 1989, they tapped the Mason Dixon line, venturing south to Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and back to Pennsylvania, adding the Keystone State to their regular tour stops. In 1991 they took a lengthy "ski" trip, playing in mountain towns across Colorado, including Steamboat Springs, Aspen, and Telluride. Later during the 90's they went several times to "the Promised Land" - California, where they played at classic venues such as the Great American Music Hall and Maritime Hall. Perhaps as a result of many year of traveling, they stuck around the East Coast for the rest of the 90s, had families, and played shows pockmarked by occasional westward excursions including to Ohio, and back to Colorado and California. After this many years, they might have showed some signs of slowing down, but not by much. Earlier in 2011, they produced and participated in January's Jungle Jam in Costa Rica with the Grateful Dead's Bil Kreutzmann. Seemingly unknown outside their home circuit of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, with smaller followings throughout New England (though their annual Camp Creek summer festiva is a big crowd-pleaser), Max Creek has fans that have, over the years, spread out and settled in far-flung regions of the country. They have brought tapes, CD's and other recordings to spread the gospel of the band that had become so large a part of their lives. Also, the band has been pivotally influential on an entire generation of jam bands, and their sound has defined much of the genre as we know it today Interestingly, Phish did a live cover of the Max Creek song: Back Porch Boogie. About Phish's cover, Max Creek's Scott Murawski says, "Mike Gordon wanted to do the song which is an instrumental bluegrass song but he knew Trey wouldn't want to cover a Max Creek song so he told the band he wrote it and they performed it." Whether or not Phish will admit the relationship, when you listen to Phish, you can definitely hear the Max Creek influence. In real life, the band members are a church musical director (Mark Mercier – keyboards), video and event company employee (John Rider – bass), a TV and audio technician (Scott Allshouse – drums), an ADP account manager (Greg Vasso – drums), and a computer programmer (Scott Murawski – guitar). But as playing together for forty years proves, at heart, they are all musicians, and an integral part of a thriving, if under-the-radar, subculture. More than a band, Max Creek has become a major part of the lives of many of its followers over the years, and, like some in the jam band scene, a social phenomenon as much as a musical entity. Many members of its long-time audience liken coming to Max Creek concerts after an absence to "coming back home for Thanksgiving". In the eyes of both the band and their fans, the existence of the band runs much deeper than the music. many of its followers over the years, and, like some in the jam band scene, a social phenomenon as much as a musical entity. Many members of its long-time audience liken coming to Max Creek concerts after an absence to "coming back home for Thanksgiving". In the eyes of both the band and their fans, the existence of the band runs much deeper than the music Max Creek has never played without a rubber duck somewhere on stage, usually on the bass amp. Glide Magazine writer Shane Handler got it right when he issued high praise for Max Creek saying "Bands like Phish, moe., Blues Traveler, the Disco Biscuits and others are the trees in Max Creek's seeds of a thriving Northeast music scene that encourages live risk taking on stage and playing according to the feel of the present moment.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Oct 4, 2011 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

Also had the chance to see these guys multiple times. Always a good time, with good music and good people. Always made me think what it must have been like to see the Dead when they were playing similar venues. Favorite place to see them was Harper's Ferry in MA (now closed I beleive). Also got down to The Living Room in RI on a few occasions.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Oct 4, 2011 9:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

i've always love the creek. they've been so great for the jam scene. i really wanna read the op but that paragraph hurts my head.

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Poster: sambonk2 Date: Oct 4, 2011 8:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

great post....

there are pleanty of other bands Such as Oroboros(band from ohio that were playing at that time , that paved the way.Jim Miller(lead guitar)now has his own band JiMiller band here on archive....great Great post!!!!thanks

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Oct 4, 2011 11:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

saw oroboros in cleveland once....but wasnt very impressed!!!

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Oct 4, 2011 3:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

Other than having heard the name, I know nothing about this band. I'm surprised to hear that they have been around for 40 years. I would have thought that I would have heard of them long before I did.

Perhaps I should check them out. Any show reccomendations from here on the archive??

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Oct 4, 2011 6:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Franklin's Creek

Frank -

Check this one out....

http://www.archive.org/details/mc1983-08-11.sbd-gmb.flac16f

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Oct 4, 2011 7:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Franklin's Creek

Thanks Rick

Been kinda burnt out lately on GD and most of my other usuals so this will be good to try.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Oct 5, 2011 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Franklin's Creek

Me too - I have been listening to a lot of Quicksilver - Messenger Service, not Doyle Lawson - lately.

Leaving tomorrow for The Festy up in south central Va in the Shenandoahs. The fest is hosted by the Infamous Stringdusters and is a really good time.

Fall camping in the Shenandoahs and great music. Throw in the fact that it is on the site at the Devil's Backbone Brewing Company and it just doesn't get much better.

On a side not, I'm likely headed to Wilmington to see the String Cheese Incident at Tower Theater on 01 Dec. Any interest? I'll let you know for sure....

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 4, 2011 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 40 years strong

I saw the Creek probably double the times I saw GD. A lot. Of course, living in the sweet spot of where did most of their touring helped. I saw them twice a week for a several years, Thursdays @ the (old) Living Room in Providence (later @ Lupo's) and Saturdays @ The Agora in Hartford. I had the pleasure of listening to their music when GD wasn't around or touring. They were my reliable back up band, and I rarely left w/out having a real good time. They certainly did not have as many gears as GD (who does?) and the tendency to have a rock sound most of the time, even left behind some of their own roots of bluegrass, reggae and country. Eventually, as I left the scene in general, I stopped going.

Here comes the roll your eyes moment, but I met and know some members of the band. (BD, this will be the only time this happens.) I first met Rob Fried (RIP) in a doughnut/sandwich shop near the Living Room. Good guy. Excellent percussionist. I can still see him in my minds eye. Through Greg Vasso, a H.S. classmate and friend of Deb, we were able to meet the rest of the cast of characters. I can not say enough good things about Mark Mercier. A true gentleman, thoughtful, polite and warm. The opposite would be John Rider, but we will move on. I didn't know Scott Murawski beyond friendly greetings, but no rock guitar god backstage. I used to get stoned with Greg and go to Creek shows w/him in the '80's. I used to get stoned with Greg at a temp job we both worked at and listen to Creek ( and GD) tapes also back in the day. I remember him telling Deb & me when he got the drummer job after Greg DeGuglielmo left. He was beyond excited. I saw them some more after that, but mostly to say hi to Greg & Mark (and it was free).

Just to finish up the, I know one or two or these guys, part. When the Dead toured in '09 Greg asked us if we wanted to go, backstage passes, yada, yada. We of course pounced. It had been years since we had seen Greg. We didn't know that the tics were for Max Creek in general, and everyone was there but Scott. I was shocked at how frail Mark looked and how slowly he moved. I mean it had been over 10 years, but I was taken back. He remembered Deb & me and was just as warm as ever. Rider, hmm. Greg was on a first date (!) and nervous, but always fun and light. The show was O.K., but the company was good.

Creek had many good original tunes; Blood Red Roses (killer dance tune), Miles & Miles, Jones, Silver Jack, You Write the Book (a fav), Trippin', Fire & Brimstone and Windows among them. Their first three albums (put out by Relix?) are out of print, which is a shame b/c their first is a beauty. I played that till the tape broke. Along with original tunes they played a goodly number of GD tunes or related ones (IKYR), some Beatles and Steppenwolf (magic mustache ride!) to name a few.

This is a real good time. Greg is in the tie dye (w/ Ernie on it?), stage right. This site also has a ton of Creek tunes on it (some w/ The Amazing BK)

http://vimeo.com/22484028

LMA

http://www.archive.org/details/MaxCreek

A show where I came out a bit different then when I went in.

http://www.archive.org/details/mc1987-02-13.shn

RB, I think I'm going to go see the Creek. Thanks for the nudge and great thread! Happy Birthday Creek! Going on 11/25 if anyone is interested.

The vimeo cut above of, You Write the Book -> Fire & Brimstone -> Ashes of Love is smoking hot.

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2011-10-04 16:02:34